Yet another article on Virtual Villages, this one by Constance Gustke in the New York Times, shows that the whole movement is growing, and the media is getting interested. Gustke’s article, which features a 68-year-old named Rick Cloud, states that there are 140 virtual villages in 40 states at present – online communities of older members who live in the local area. These villages are really a cross between Angie’s list, a volunteer service, and a social network. Members recommend contractors, doctors, and other service providers who can be trusted, and they also help one another when assistance is needed with a task or a ride. And, depending on the village, members get together regularly – or sporadically – for social events.
Susan McWhinney-Morse helped to found the village for the Beacon Hill area of Boston. She is all about people controlling their own lives as they grow older. “This is not a social service model,” she says, “this is how we take care of ourselves.
It’s gratifying to know that we Boomers are pushing virtual villages into mass acceptance, making it quite possible to live independently, not relying on families or government assistance or institutional retirement community living.